Texas Tech University

Matthew S. Pehl

Assistant Professor
Modern U.S., Labor, Religion, Documentary Film

Email: mapehl@ttu.edu

Office: 477 Humanities

Ph.D., Brandeis University

Dr. Matthew Pehl is a historian of the post-Reconstruction United States. He has researched topics as diverse as Midwestern feminism and prison-labor policy in the New Deal, but class identity and religious cultures are the connective tissue that unite most of his projects. His book The Making of Working-Class Religion (Illinois, 2016), explored the ways in which religion shaped class (and vice versa) for the Catholic, African American, and southern-born white evangelical workers of 20th-century Detroit. His current book project, The Battle for the Blue: How the 1960s Remade the Police, is a politically informed labor history of urban cops during the “long 1960s.”

Prior to arriving at Texas Tech, Dr. Pehl taught at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, where he had been named the Orin M. Loftus Distinguished Professor for his research and teaching. In 2019, he attended a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in Charleston, SC, on the history of Jews in the American South; and, in 2014, he attended a week-long institute sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges on the history of Chicago (held in that fair city).

More recently, Dr. Pehl has begun marrying his historical work to his lifelong interest in filmmaking. He is currently completing an MA in Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri and working on a short film exploring the legacies of “cowboy” mythology in West Texas. He hopes to integrate his filmmaking into his history classes at Texas Tech and support the development of media-savvy scholars.


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